On May 30, 2014, attendees at an Engage workshop had the pleasure of listening to author Pamela Blair talk about her latest book, Getting Older Better, a guide to living a more fulfilled life at 60+.
At age 50, Ms. Blair woke up and said to herself, “What’s going to happen to me now?” The following year, she signed a contract for her first book, I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye, about her harrowing fight to restore her life after a horrific car accident in which she sustained brain injuries and spent two years learning how to walk and talk again. When she finally conquered her demons, Ms. Blair realized that wrinkles tell a story, and it is better to be pro- rather than anti-age. This realization eventually led to her follow-up book, Getting Older Better.
Initially, this gifted, robust woman of 65 asked participants to think about words used in the media to describe women and aging: old, memory, senior citizen, aging, wiser, better, elderly, handicapped, disabled, frail, homebound, depressed, lonely, active. As she engaged us with an accent on the positive, soon all the negative “age” words were eliminated. How did she do this? By describing how to live longer by changing our attitudes and being grateful for what we have in this moment in time. For example:
- If you wake up in a bad mood, go to the mirror and smile.
- If you can’t find your glasses, laugh at yourself and move on.
- If you’re sad, eat chocolate, listen to music, talk to good friends, or even play with a toy in order to stay in touch with your inner child.
Women who don’t express their creativity–in whatever form–are more prone to depression. In fact, women in the 75+ age group are the happiest because they’ve learned how to say “no” to negative feelings and situations. According to Ms. Blair, we manifest health when we wake up positive. “We’re all going to have to face something—it’s the way we deal with it that counts.”
Ms. Blair went on to say that if your attitude about aging is poor, it will impact your healing and hearing: “Your body listens to the messages you send it. So to add years to your life, start saying positive things and your body will respond.”
As we get older, we all worry about having enough money and maintaining good health. The key is to conserve energy and live wisely in order to enjoy the time that we have on earth. We should surround ourselves with a community of caring people. We all have choices: we either keep on keeping on, or life’s intrusions will defeat us.
This vivacious speaker left her audience with three keys for happiness and peace of mind:
- Adjust your attitude.
- Be creative.
- Take naps to boost energy.
Sage advice from a woman with a zest for life that won’t quit!